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Pro Bike: Ryan Trebon’s carbon Kona CX Major Jake

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Ryan Trebon's 63cm CX Major Jake

Ryan Trebon's 63cm CX Major Jake (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The test of truth for Trebon's giant ride

The test of truth for Trebon's giant ride (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Trebon prefers an alloy bar and seatpost

Trebon prefers an alloy bar and seatpost (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Shimano's Dura-Ace 7900 levers

Shimano's Dura-Ace 7900 levers (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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SwissStop's Yellow King brake pads are almost as ubiquitous as Dugast tires on the US cyclo-cross circuit

SwissStop's Yellow King brake pads are almost as ubiquitous as Dugast tires on the US cyclo-cross circuit (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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FSA make their own MegaExo-to-BB30 adaptor

FSA make their own MegaExo-to-BB30 adaptor (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The new CX Major Jake features a tapered head tube and fork steerer, as well as internal cable routing for the shifter and brake cables

The new CX Major Jake features a tapered head tube and fork steerer, as well as internal cable routing for the shifter and brake cables (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Even the rear cable stop is molded from carbon

Even the rear cable stop is molded from carbon (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Dugast's infamous Typhoon

Dugast's infamous Typhoon (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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A look at the CX Major Jake's massive down tube

A look at the CX Major Jake's massive down tube (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Trebon's timeless Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle

Trebon's timeless Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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FSA's OS-99 CSI stem has an alloy base that's wrapped in carbon

FSA's OS-99 CSI stem has an alloy base that's wrapped in carbon (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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FSA's OS-99 CSI stem has an alloy base that's wrapped in carbon

FSA's OS-99 CSI stem has an alloy base that's wrapped in carbon (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Trebon's timeless Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle

Trebon's timeless Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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8.27kg is quite respectable for the 63cm package

8.27kg is quite respectable for the 63cm package (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Just so he knows he's on the right bike

Just so he knows he's on the right bike (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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FSA's SL-K cantilever brakes have in-line cable adjustment and super-stiff forged arms

FSA's SL-K cantilever brakes have in-line cable adjustment and super-stiff forged arms (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The CX Major Jake has svelte seatstays that surely offer a comfortable ride

The CX Major Jake has svelte seatstays that surely offer a comfortable ride (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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(Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Trebon's SL-K crank uses FSA's MegaExo spindle; the brand don't make a BB30 crank with 177.5mm arms

Trebon's SL-K crank uses FSA's MegaExo spindle; the brand don't make a BB30 crank with 177.5mm arms (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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Trebon's SL-K crank uses FSA's MegaExo spindle; the brand don't make a BB30 crank with 177.5mm arms

Trebon's SL-K crank uses FSA's MegaExo spindle; the brand don't make a BB30 crank with 177.5mm arms (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The CX Major Jake has svelte seatstays that surely offer a comfortable ride

The CX Major Jake has svelte seatstays that surely offer a comfortable ride (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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The new frame offers plenty of mud clearance

The new frame offers plenty of mud clearance (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)
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SwissStop's Yellow King brake pads are almost as ubiquitous as Dugast tires on the US cyclo-cross circuit

SwissStop's Yellow King brake pads are almost as ubiquitous as Dugast tires on the US cyclo-cross circuit (Image credit: Matt Pacocha, Bikeradar.com)

Ryan Trebon and fellow Kona Cyclocross Team rider Barry Wicks have always ridden custom bikes. It’s not that Kona’s stock bikes don’t perform, but rather that both racers are just too tall for them. However, that's all changed with the new CX Major Jake.

In the past, Kona simply sized up their alloy bikes for the Twin Towers – “They made a stock 62cm frame,” said Trebon of his previous scandium Major Jake. “And they just enlarged ours by a centimeter in the top tube and a centimeter in the seat tube."

But it's a completely different story when it comes to carbon fibre. That's why Kona have added a new 63cm size for the CX Major Jake. It's based on the geometry of Trebon and Wicks' scandium bikes, with a 63-degree seat tube and 61cm top tube, but the chainstays are a centimeter shorter.

This change serves to stiffen things up and offer quicker acceleration and better handling on tight courses. “It makes the wheelbase shorter and the rear end tighter so everything feels a little snappier,” said Trebon, adding that these improvements come with no discernible loss of stability. “What stability?" he said. "I mean, we’re not descending at 50mph. When you’re going downhill and it’s muddy, you’re already all over the trail. You can’t really tell if it’s less stable – you’re sliding all over the place anyway.”

The new bike’s frame and fork stiffness is what really makes the difference, according to Trebon. “We wanted a lighter bike but we also needed it to be stiffer, in both the front end and the bottom bracket area. That was my main thing," he said. "If we’re going to do a carbon bike I don’t care if it’s 2lb lighter if it gives up any stiffness. That does me no good; being tall and pretty powerful I feel like I need something super-stiff.”

Trebon said the tapered head tube and BB30 bottom bracket were game changers for him. “The tapered head tube makes a huge difference on the bike,” he said. “It’s amazing. This is the first week I’ve actually put a ton of miles on the bike… and I’m stoked with it. It rides awesome.”

He also commented on the new fork and how, especially for ’cross, frames and forks that have been designed together seem to be the way of the future. “The fork has really stiff lowers and huge crown clearance,” he said. “It allow you to run larger tires for training… you can run a big 40c tire in there, which is nice because there’s less chance of flatting and you can ride mountain bike trails and stuff too.”

Because he favours 177.5mm crank arms, Trebon uses an FSA SL-K MegaExo crankset with BB30 adaptors, since the brand doesn’t make a BB30 crank with arms longer than 175mm. “I’d prefer to run a BB30 crank, but it’s a lot to ask of FSA – to make me a special BB30 crank,” he said. FSA also outfit Trebon’s bike with their XC190 alloy mountain bike seatpost, Omega alloy bar, carbon wrapped alloy OS-99 CSI stem and SL-K cantilever brakes.

Aside from the new frameset, the other big change to the Kona team’s kit for 2010 is their switch from FSA to Shimano wheels. The team are mostly using C50 carbon tubulars, but as production ramps up on the new C35 wheels, Trebon expects to ride them more. “I really like the C35s,” he said. “I think they ride better than the C50s… Shimano will even tell you themselves. They’ll never be the lightest thing out there, but you won’t ever have any problems with them; for me that’s as important as weight.”

Complete bike specifications: